Iran news headlines on Wednesday include IRGC military exercise in eastern Iran; Iran rise of power exports; U.S. security thinktank report on Iran nuke unlikely to start Mideast arms race; Germany charging two men with smuggling dozens of German-made engines to Iran and block of Iranian students’ accounts by German banks.
A senior Iranian commander says the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) plans to hold the Great Prophet 8 military drill in eastern Iran.
Commander of the IRGC Ground Forces Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said on Wednesday that the three-day drill would begin on February 23.
There has been a fall in electricity demand in Iran’s sanctions-hit economy led to a 29-percent rise in its power exports over the last 11 months, the state news agency IRNA said on Tuesday.
Iran’s economy has been battered by sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union which have slashed its oil exports and hobbled the wider economy by severing links to the global financial system.
Fears that an Iranian nuclear weapon might trigger an atomic arms race across the Middle East are overplayed, a U.S. security thinktank said on Tuesday, arguing that countries like Saudi Arabia face big disincentives against getting the bomb.
Western powers believe Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon under cover of a civilian atomic electricity program, a charge Tehran denies.
German prosecutors have charged two men with smuggling dozens of German-made engines to Iran for use in the production of drone aircraft.
Federal prosecutors’ spokesman Marcus Koehler said Wednesday that Iman J. L., a 30-year-old German-Iranian dual national, and Iranian Davood A., 54, have both been charged with violating German export laws. The men, whose last names were not given in accordance with privacy laws, face two to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and German other financial institutions have reportedly started suspending the accounts of Iranian students and refusing applications for new accounts.
The website of Der Spiegel magazine reported on Monday that affected customers received letters from their banks notifying them of the imminent closure of their accounts. No reason for the decision was given.
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